Quick IoT Win: CIO At Wesizwe Platinum Mining Digitization

Jennifer Scholze

low res mobility in mining 276068_l_srgb_s_gl.jpgKobus Pienaar, chief information officer at Wesizwe Platinum, recently spoke with Georg Gradl, global lead for the SAP Industry Business Unit Mining about how the company — and the mining industry — is using the newest digital technologies to drive sustainable mining and benefit both the company and the community around them.  They implemented SAP solutions in just 12 weeks, and by digital technology we mean mobility, Internet of things, 3D printing, wearable technology, sensors, industry 4.0, cloud computing….

The mining industry is as vital to today’s global economies as ever, yet it is currently combating multiple adverse trends such as falling commodity prices, a slowing global economy, and health, safety, and labor issues.

We hear from mining companies across the globe that they are continuously working and thinking about how technology and digitization can help mitigate these challenges and stay ahead of the curve by being more efficient and safe – and creating a platform for fast growth and flexibility.

Kobus form Wesizwe had some interesting suggestions and insights from their recent and ongoing work.   Below are highlights from the 45-minute webinar.

What is a quick win using the Internet of Things?  (IoT)

Kobus mentioned that using mobility in the area of printing can easily add up to 70% of savings in printing costs – and also can help reduce the carbon footprint, which helps the sustainability reporting.  In addition to savings, it dramatically shortens the timeframe for decision-making and action.  Deploy mobility technology and software directly to users in engineering, plant maintenance, procurement, and finance to make the need to print obsolete.

What are the top 5 suggestions for companies embarking on digital projects?

  1. You must be willing to get out of your comfort zone: You are like a fish that needs to be willing to swim outside of its bowl.
  2. You need right partners and skills internally and externally.
  3. You need senior management buy-in.  Projects will not work from the bottom up.
  4. Select the correct systems.  Don’t look at emotion – look at business case.  They looked at the 10-year business case, including all factors, and the choice was simple.
  5. Support the lines of business to chase the savings and the benefits.  You must devise a way to deploy the digitization solutions such that business units chase savings – not IT.  Arm your business units to know and to say that they are saving.  Supply the infrastructure and platform for them to succeed – and then build on their success.

Listen to the webinar here.


About Jennifer Scholze

Jennifer Scholze is the Global Lead for Industry Marketing for the Mill Products and Mining Industries at SAP. She has over 20 years of technology marketing, communications and venture capital experience and lives in the Boston area with her husband and two children.